Sometimes there is just not enough time in the day, so it is easy to throw a few packaged snacks into our children’s lunch boxes and be done with it. After all, it’s what they like to eat, right? Those pre-packaged snacks might be tasty but often they are most likely not very nutritionally balanced.
Children are constantly growing so they need a steady supply of nutrients to meet their metabolic needs. Whilst some snack foods might supply enough calories for their active day, they are often nutrient poor. They can be high in processed sugars and salt and may not supply the required vitamins, minerals and proteins that children need for optimum health. Next time you are making your child’s lunchbox, consider adding some of these foods:
Vegetable sticks with a small pot of dips like hummus. The veggies are packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals, whilst the hummus is a good source of protein.
Hard boiled eggs. Convenient, tasty, sources of protein.
Pre-chopped fresh fruit. Studies have shown that children are more likely to eat fresh fruit if is is already cut up into bite sized pieces. The fruit satisfies their sweet tooth and can help keep them from wanting nutrient-devoid candy later on.
Plain yoghurt and berries. Flavoured yoghurt is very high in sugar, and should be avoided where possible. Plain greek yoghurt, however, is high in protein and calcium whilst berries are powerful antioxidants.
Home-made cookies. Who doesn’t like a cookie? Even better if it is made with love at home. Home-made treats contain natural ingredients, not a list of strange chemicals. You most likely don’t have things like hydrogenated palm.